When Stephanie was transferred to the University of Utah Burn Center Christian came to live with us. It was bittersweet. On one hand the children had their father back. They were able to help with dressing changes and be gofers to his needs. It allowed for more balance in their lives, they were happier for it.
On the other hand, it was hard. It would take him about 45 minutes to commute the hospital every day. Christian would leave in the early afternoons, after his dressing changes, to be with Stephanie until late at night. Sometimes he'd be driving home in wild snow storms and we'd wait up until his car arrived in our carport. It was draining I am sure, though I never heard him complain much. He'd wake up, make a smoothie to share with all of us, and get on with his day.
When I look back at that time--a difficult time to be sure--I think about cheese. Christian would sometimes come home with groceries, and in the morning I'd find my fridge stocked with good food. Food that he rarely had time to eat, so I would finish up tubs of olives and bags of cookies from Whole Foods
(I ate a lot during that time). But most of all, Christian introduced me to Sharp Cheddar.
Sharp Cheddar is a whole galaxy better than Medium Cheddar, or its lazy little brother, Mild Cheddar. It makes everything snappy and daring. I put it on my baked potato once and suddenly I didn't need sour cream. It made a better macaroni and cheese. It stands alone as a snack, or improves a simple cracker. Safely put, my life has changed since Christian stuffed our dairy box with his choosings.
Perhaps it is silly to say, but everyday I find good in what happened last year. And one day, while I was eating a plate of cheese and grapes, I realized how Christian improved my life in the darkest of days. And, it's the little things.